The world, and especially your office building, is a germ-infested cesspool. You can’t see them or smell them, but they’re there. Waiting to pounce. So I feel it’s my duty to caution you: don’t touch anything. Put your hands in your pockets and leave them there.
Seriously. A new study revealed a virus can spread from a single doorknob to roughly half the people and surfaces in a building within a few hours. Hours, boys and girls. Those varmints are fast. And the area most teeming with germs isn’t the bathroom, as you might suspect. It’s the break room. Makes sense, though.
People don’t linger in communal bathrooms. They dash in, take care of business, and dash out. Bunches of us, in fact, flush the toilet with a foot rather than our hands. We use a paper towel to grab the door handle. We operate the hand dryer with an elbow. All perfectly understandable, commendable behavior, because who in their right mind wants to handle stuff in a public bathroom?
Break rooms don’t have the same stigma. No one thinks twice about picking up the coffee pot or opening the refrigerator or flipping on the lights and that, my friends, is where the danger lurks. Danger and about nine zillion germs — common use items are crawling with all sorts of bacteria and spores and microbes and other germy unpleasantness.
Say you pour a cup of coffee, sit down, and moments later touch your face. Well, next thing you know? Ah-choo. Where did you go wrong? Touching your face; it’s a health hazard. You pick up a germ with your hand, your hand touches your face, your face speeds it into your system, and you wind up spending your sick days being sick.
Is that what you want?
Then wash your damn hands and use disinfecting wipes with quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) — the combination will reduce virus spread by 80 to 99 percent. So see? Mr. Monk knew what he was obsessing about. Disinfecting wipes are essential in this day of computer keyboards and push plates and the like — keep them close at hand. (No pun intended.)
And, by the same token, stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets. That’s not a sneeze guard; it’s a welcome mat for the Black Death.
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